As NFL teams go, the Packers have a unique structure. They are a publicly owned corporation.
As publicly-owned corporations go, the Packers are also unique. Their stock isn’t like normal stock. It can’t be sold or traded. It doesn’t appreciate in value.
It is, put simply, a donation. And the certificate becomes the ultimate piece of memorabilia, an official license to say “we” when referring to victories and defeats.
But don’t take my word for it. Consider the language of the official release from the team announcing that the sixth stock sale in franchise history, which commences on Tuesday, November 16: “Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in ‘stock’ in the common sense of the term. . . . The Packers will have no obligation to repay the amount a buyer pays to purchase Packers stock. . . . Anyone considering the purchase of Packers stock should not purchase the stock to make a profit or to receive a dividend or tax deduction or any other economic benefits. . . . The Packers believe offerees and purchasers of Packers stock will not receive the protection of securities laws with respect to any offering or sale of Packers stock. . . . The Packers bylaws and NFL rules severely restrict transfers of Packers stock.”
In short, it’s not really stock. But that doesn’t keep people from buying it. Indeed, it’s amazing that other teams haven’t found a way to shave off a few percentage points of equity for a similar money-for-nothing deal. If the fans are willing to contribute their cash to the cause with nothing but a piece of paper and an invitation to the annual shareholders meeting in return, that’s their right.
The sale also comes at a perfect time, with the holiday season arriving and a minuscule slice of team ownership the perfect gift for the Packers fan who has almost everything.
At $300 per share, the Packers have 300,000 available for purchase. That’s $90 million that the Packers will be raising. More than enough to pay for the $300,000 wrist slap they received from the league last week for chronically failing to enforce COVID protocols.